The Life of the Skies by Jonathan RosenI found Jonathan Rosen’s The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature so magnificent that I’ve been celebrating it for the last month. So have many of you! We’ve had a splendid string of collaborative activities starting with an inspiring photo gallery of birds in flight. We followed that with thoughtful commentary about, of all things, birdwatching and the post-Darwinian world. Now it’s time to close the book, as they say, on our Life of the Skies giveaway.

The last challenge was to identify someone you know who isn’t a full-blown birdwatcher yet but could be with the right impetus and present a cogent case in one paragraph for why that nominee would be the best recipient of The Life of the Skies. The most persuasive paragraph would win not one, but two books: one for the participant and one for that lucky person who was about to discover a new passion in life. Congratulations to Eva of The Flying Mullet for making it happen:

Some people resist for resistance sake and Emily is one of those. In our circle of friends she is the only non-birdwatcher. She will go hiking with us and even occasionally look at the birds but she insists she is NOT a birdwatcher. My hope is that this book will change her mind and bring her over to our side, the land of birders and birdwatchers. I know that she will be happier with us but I need your help. Please help Emily become a birdwatcher. Please be her beacon of light in the darkness.

For those of you keeping track at home, this is Eva’s second consecutive victory in one of our book giveaways, having brought home the Audubon Backyard Birdwatch bacon in our Most Beloved Backyard Bird 2008 poll. Let that be a lesson to you all… you’ve got to be in it to win it! Plus, this is her friend Emily’s first book from us.

The final, and in many ways most important, book to be awarded goes to one random individual who helped promote these giveaways. By spreading news of the opportunities for free books, these altruistic individuals not only opened the doors to a wider range of potential winners, but they helped raise awareness about a truly sensational book. Many thanks to all of you and special congratulations to Summer Foovay of Naturalist Notebook. Summer Stumbled, Dugg, and wrote about this giveaway in a most prolific fashion. Playing the odds worked in her favor and she brought home the gold.

I’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who participated in our promotions, our friends at Farrar, Straus and Giroux Publishers, and Julie Dunlap of Pines Above Snow for her valuable role in coming up with fun contests. Of course, none of this would have been possible without Jonathan Rosen himself for writing The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature, a book I expect to turn to again and again for inspiration.

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.